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Amber Sweaza: Thai Back Massage course notes
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Shama Kern
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March 24, 2021 - 1:44 am
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Regarding large and heavy clients - There is no question that it is harder to work on clients who are much larger and heavier than you. I am quite strong, and I have sometimes had clients who strained me. However my solution was always to eliminate those techniques that were too difficult to do on such clients. In some such cases I eliminated many stretches and focused more on pressure or motion techniques where I could use my body weight and my forearms, elbows, knees, and feet. 

In Thailand most therapists are small and light women and they are confronted with this scenario on a regular basis. You can try to use your body and your body weight to your best advantage, but if you realize that a certain technique takes too much out of you, just skip it.

I have had clients who were so large and overweight (I had not known this before) that I worked on them only once. After that I 'had no openings'.

The truth is that we have to take care of ourselves first, otherwise we cannot help others. There is no moral, ethical, or legal obligation to endanger our health and overstress our bodies by working on people whom we cannot handle. 

I have never officially stated weight requirements since this is such a sensitive issue, especially nowadays. Also there are large persons who are fairly solid and are not that hard to work on, and then there are people who are so overweight and have so little solidity that you just can't get a good grip on them for certain techniques.

I have never had a client who was not able to get down on a mat, but in some cases I had to help them to do so which was not so difficult for me. My wife also never had a client who was unable to get on a mat but also had to help elderly people to do so. This seems to me to be less of an obstacle than hugely overweight persons who just can't be moved much.

You could state in a polite way that you are not able to accommodate clients over a specific weight 'because of your own size and limitations', but I would avoid this, if possible. It just doesn't look so good on a website.

You could use another tactic and explain for whom Thai Massage is suited. You could word it in such a way that very heavy and obese people won't feel inclined to opt for your Thai Massage without feeling rejected by you.

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Amber Sweaza
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April 13, 2021 - 7:14 pm
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MODULE 16

We practiced the backbends well. At first it was difficult because I have short legs buy I adjusted and found ways to make it work well. Adding in the forward bends with the back bends created a nice relaxation of the muscles. Using the technique with one leg up and one kneeled helped me have leverage. Overall I think the forward and back bends are very useful for all client types.

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Amber Sweaza
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April 13, 2021 - 7:35 pm
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MODULE 17

When doing the second stretch instead of the feet locking around the knees they were locking around my hips. I attribute this to my hight. 
Sometimes I feel some stretches are a lot of extra work for the same outcome, but I see that you are giving many different options to fit clients needs. It is good that you addressed body contact. It can get into your head and become awkward but you make a good point that if you bring it to your clients mind they will always be thinking about it. 

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Amber Sweaza
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April 13, 2021 - 8:05 pm
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MODULE 18

It would be very normal to find cracking in the spine with all of these spinal stretches. I appreciate all of the different options you give to help short people to find a way to appropriately do the stretch. I think many of these stretches can be used on the mat and on the table well to help achieve spinal release. 

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Amber Sweaza
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April 13, 2021 - 8:26 pm
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MODULE 19

I like the first stretch, it helps with using my body weight leverage to add the extra power behind it. I use circling techniques in my every day routine. It is easy for me to adapt it into my Thai routine. I do not use a lot of traction in my regular massages and this has been a good reminder of why traction is so good for our bodies. 

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Shama Kern
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April 14, 2021 - 12:01 am
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You are getting close to the finish line! Smile

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Amber Sweaza
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April 20, 2021 - 11:32 pm
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MODULE 20

It is great to have so many options for me as a small person to be able to try on multiple people of all different sizes. Also good to learn for incorporating in a normal table massage vs. a floor traditional Thai massage. Thank you for the options. Many of these stretches were easy for me to execute. 

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Amber Sweaza
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April 21, 2021 - 12:01 am
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MODULE 21
I really enjoyed the discussion about the different modalities that have roots in yoga/Thai massage like Tok Sen. Thank you for that video, it was really neat! 
Also the discussion of Thai massage being an art is very beautiful. I view massage in general in this way. Like a dance around the table/matt.

I completed the test for the course at the end of this module but I am not sure it submitted to be graded? 

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Amber Sweaza
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April 21, 2021 - 12:08 am
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MODULE 22

I love talking about kyphosis. I have several clients with it and am always looking for ways to help them. I also have many clients with scoliosis. Some are very severe. I wish there really was a magic button to straighten them out. 
The recap was very helpful. 

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Amber Sweaza
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April 21, 2021 - 12:17 am
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MODULE 23

Seeing how to move a client with out them having to do it themselves was very helpful. Especially how you moved them back to prone position. That was impressive! Also the power of positive thinking is so helpful in our practice. Even if we don't think the client can feel our thoughts, the muscles can and do! 

Thank you so much for all of the time and effort you put into these courses. I can tell that you went to great lengths to make sure it is useful and beneficial to practitioners. I have gained so much knowledge about Thai massage in general and some very useful techniques that I can use in my every day practice. I appreciate you and your time. 

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Shama Kern
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April 21, 2021 - 12:49 am
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Your test came through - everything okay.

We don't have a magic button to fix things, but I have seen quite a few magical results in my massage career. It definitely took longer than pressing a button, but in the end there were results that had a major impact on the client's health and well-being. That's what makes it all so worth it for me.

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